From Sand (Part 1)

SKU: 884501653923
Private Release
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Second album from this Brazilian/American progressive metal band. The Element was assembled by Brazilian transplant Rafael Macedo who handles all the lead vocals and guitars. He's enlisted Circle II Circle bassist Mitch Stewart, former Imagika drummer Henry Moreno, as well as keyboardist Jeremy Villucci. The band's music bears the imprint of the obvious prog metal influence of Dream Theater but there is definitely an epic Pink Floyd quality to their music. Sort of like Images & Words meets The Wall. Macedo's vocals are excellent and he's quite an accomplished guitarist as well. Nice and tasteful soloing through out without turning into a nonstop shredfest - an album that seems to put melody at the forefront but with a solid foundation in musicianship. This arrives beautifully packaged in a DVD sized fold out digipak. I think this is a band we are going to hear a lot about. Highly recommended.

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  • "Orphaned land's amalgamation of metal and ethnic music referred to as "Oriental Metal" is such a true pleasure to listen to. And it's a combination that continues to become more widespread with newer groups making their mark such as Myrath a progressive metal act that I also hold in high regard. Mabool is the release which really gave the band widespread praise and attention, and their last album The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR was another fantastic album by this band from the Middle East. This is a group that certainly doesn't restrain themselves to one style and has proven that they possess the talent to adapt and incorporate that music. Orphaned land now have a new collection of wonderful material with a strong message called All Is One as they continue to unite those whose beliefs have kept them apart.The influence this band has had is truly inspiring, and in the words of front man Kobi Farhi who says "Discovering the fact that our music is the instrument to remind people that we are all one is shocking to me. I never imagined that blood enemies would open their eyes because of it. That's why the title of the album is All Is One." And that's what also forms the basis for the concept of this album in that we continue to fail to see that all is one. Also the cover art is a combination of the symbols that represent three Abrahamic religions presenting them as one.All Is One was a major undertaking by the band having been recorded not only in Israel but also Turkey and Sweden, and featuring over 40 musicians including 25 choir singers (who sound so good on the riveting title track) and eight classical violin, viola, and cello players. What you will soon notice on All Is One is that for the most part vocalist Kobi Farhi's growls have been given the flick this time with the song "Fail" a darker track being the exception, and no don't worry they haven't gone soft Orphaned Land obviously still like their metal. You also wont hear as many long and complex tracks on All Is One and the quality of those songs hasn't diminished the band still packs plenty in. I do look forward to getting a hard copy of this album so I can read the lyrics along with the songs.Chen Balbus is the new guitarist/keyboardist he joined the band after the departure of guitar player and original member Matty Svatizky, and fellow guitarist Yossi Sassi gives another great performance following on from his very good solo release. Though and not to diminish it's significance but the guitar is of course not the only component of this bands music as many other instruments come into play creating that spellbinding music. And speaking of instruments track seven "Freedom" a spirit lifting vibrant instrumental is a great inclusion, the vocals are also so very well done such as on "Ya Benaye" where they are like an instrument of their own. The eastern metal groover "The Simple Man" is another of the many great songs on All Is One. "Our Own Messiah" flows with more of Orphaned Land's all engrossing creative skills, the passionate chorus is topped off with an instrumental passage that is just so good. The production is once again right on the money so to speak and I have no doubts that All Is One will be referred to as one of Orphaned Land's best works. They did set the standard so high previously and haven't faltered with this album." - Sea Of Tranquility
  • Creation's End is the vision of New York City's Rudy Albert (guitar - from Zandelle) and Dario Rodriguez (drums).Rudy and Dario, who met in school, have been playing music together since 1999. As they grew tighter in their playing, they began to focus on writing original material. The nature of the material evolved from simple metal tunes in the early years, to more complex and mature compositions.During the summers of 2003 through 2006, Dario and Rudy convened to write music. The focus of the sessions was simply to make great music that they both enjoyed, and each summer, Rudy and Dario wrote and recorded a new demo of original material.Rudy soon took on keyboard duties in the band Until Destiny, where he met John Macaluso (drummer of James LaBrie Band, Fool's Game, ex-Ark, ex-TNT, ex-Yngwie Malsteen). After a short period of time, Rudy and Dario decided that the time was right to revisit their old material to record and release it the right way.With a newly renovated studio and producer John Macaluso on board, Rudy and Dario set out to record 8 reworked versions of songs that appeared on their demos. They were joined by the lineup - Mike Dimeo, (ex-Masterplan, ex-Riot), Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie Band), and Joey Bones (Chris Caffery, ex-Zandelle).In Summer of 2010 the band decided to have world known engineer Neil Kernon (Queensryche, Yes, Nile, Cannibal Corpse etc) mix the album.November 2010 will see the release of "A New Beginning" and marks the fruition of the album envisioned from the beginning - melodic, touches of prog, a strong sense of groove, and brutally heavy and dark. US and European tour dates are being planned, with a date at ProgPower USA in September 2011 already confirmed.
  • In 1994, The Laser's Edge had a short lived sister label called The Labyrinth.  Sailor Free was part of the roster and released a beautiful psychedelic hard rock album called The Fifth Door.  After that the band went silent.  19 years later, vocalist David Petrosino and guitarist Stefano "The Hook" Barelli have reactivated the band and it sounds as though nothing has changed.  Spiritual Revolution is a concept album influenced by J.R.R. Tolkein's "The Silmarillion".  Sailor Free's music has a hard rock feel but due to Barelli's wicked soloing there is a psychedelic energy imbued in the music.  Petrosino is simply a great singer.  In an obtuse way he reminds me of Jim Morrison.  He doesn't really sound like him but he channels a dark spiritual energy into every word he sings.  There are some nice keyboard embellisments along the way but really this is a guitar driven album.  Welcome back old friends.  You were missed!
  • Riverside's fifth studio album finds them in a continuing state of refinement of their sound.  While they continue to touch on the bands that were the original foundation of their sound (Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, Opeth) the music seems to take on a more atmospheric feel.  At the same time 70s style keyboards creep in more and more.  Michal Lapaj's use of Hammond organ lends a Lord-ian flair when the band ramps up the heaviness.  The spacey flavors of Eloy that appears on Out Of Myself reappear just at the right time.  It seems that Marius Duda's Lunatic Soul side project has cross polinated a bit with the mothership.  His emotion driven vocals once again prove why he is one of the best frontmen in the entire progressive music scene.  This is one of those albums that will take many spins to really allow it to divulge all its secrets.  The domestic edition arrives as a 2CD digipak.  The second bonus disc contains 2 extensive instrumental jams of total blissed out space.  What more to say?  Highest recommendation.
  • Limited edition digipak with 2 bonus tracks."The road to Altzi is paved with good intentions…. When Masterplan announced the new lineup in November of last year, Jorn apologists flooded the comment strings of various metal news outlets with comments like “another band is spoiled by a vocalist change” and “no Jorn…no Masterplan.” While I might agree that there was reason for outcry when a well-known/respected singer leaves a band, it’s not as if Masterplan has never had another vocalist and is not a band with more past members than present. The object is to listen and make judgments later. The announcement of Rick Altzi was particularly intriguing and any fan of At Vance and Thunderstone can attest – there was much reason for hope.The news that main man/guitarist Roland Grapow’s (Ex-Helloween) revealed that there was going to be a return to “faster” and “more metal” material made this more appealing. Add further still…the addition of Ex-Stratovarius bassist Jari Kainulainen and the naysayers should have stood back and waited to react. Why? As it turned out, Rick Altzi proves a more than compatible replacement for Jorn…and *GASP* dare I say – a wee bit better in spots? Blasphemy? Try it…prove me wrong.Musically, the album ranks as one of the band’s finest, recalling the best heard from the self-titled debut, 2005’s “Aeronautics,” and the appropriately titled 2010 “Time to Be King,” but with a heavier edge. Altzi is so compatible that only the most attentive Jorn fans can see the difference, most notably that low power that shifts with a slab of grit while on the way up to the high range. This is not besmirching Altzi at all, as his range is proven and perfect. His first appearance is at 0:47 on the album’s second track “The Game,” an admirable driving melodic metal song with noticeably well-crafted double bass from new drummer Marthus Skaroupka (Cradle of Filth) and copious amounts of heaviness intertwined with trademark melody. Grapow proves again what amazing solos he can play.The album’s first music video was for “Keep Your Dream Alive” – a mid-paced winner expertly chosen, as it’s the song where Altzi shines brightest, showing the breadth of his range – and for many moments I said “Jorn who?” The finest track on the album is “Betrayal,” which will prove to be one of the best of the year when all is said and done, if not for its Middle Eastern charm that falls into the heaviest riff on the album drawn out like slamming shudders by Axel Mackenrott’s keyboards. Other notables are the appealing riff in “Earth Going Down” (which is a tad swallowed by the keyboards as the song progresses), the Strato-feel of “Black Night of Magic,” the speedier “Return to Avalon” and the never dull 11 minute title track (especially 6:13 to 7:15) and vocal duet of Altzi and Grapow. Highly recommended is the digipak version with bonus tracks “1492” and “Fear the Silence.”My only complaint is not necessarily with the band’s play or its flawless execution, its more the melodic metal style in general. At the same time it represents a favorite style – in Masterplan’s case best defined as “what Whitesnake would sound like if they tipped a bit into power metal” – listening to entire album presents a challenge, if only for that mid-paced repetition. I find the album plays a bit better when I listen to a few songs at a time, mixing it in with other bands and styles.This may be “a new beginning” for Masterplan in member changes, however the creation of high quality melodic metal perseveres. Grapow assembled a new team of musicians that prove just as compatible, especially Altzi’s performance. With the proof in the product, fans of the band should have little to complain about with “Novum Initium,” though I suspect some Jorn lamenters will never take the road less traveled….the one where its “time for” Rick “to be king.”" - Metal Underground
  • The retro-hard rock revival continues. Hisingen Blues is the second album from this Swedish band that drinks from the same well as Witchcraft and The Answer. The music is a faithful amalgam of Black Sabbath riffing combined with Robert Plant-style vocals. You can definitely hear the Zep influence here. If you didn't know you would swear this was something recorded in 1972.
  • Long awaited debut from this Dutch progressive metal band. I say long awaited because this band was put together by ex-Forever Times guitarist Martijn Balsters back in 2003 and have been demoing and going through lineup changes ever since. Finally things are stable and we have an excellent slab of silver on our hands. The music has a contemporary feel but still lots of intricacies in the arrangements. Martijn serves up the crunch quite nicely thank you and it works well against Sander Heerings symphonic keys. I'm particular drawn to the vocals of Jeroen Voogd. He's very expressive adding a nice amount of angst and drama. Quality prog metal has been on lean times lately but The Dust Connection delivers the goods. Highly recommended.
  • English vocal version of the third album from this fine Hungarian progressive metal band. Age Of Nemesis (formerly just known as Nemesis) are heavily influenced by Dream Theater, Rush and 70s old school progressive rock. Zoltan Fabian's guitarwork has a wonderful fluid quality that really soars but he adds a good bit of crunch that recals John Petrucci. Vocalist Zoltan Kiss has a great voice that complements the band well. Curiously he displays a more prominent accent than on past efforts but it's not really a distraction. Anyone familiar with their past releases will be extremely satisfied with Terra Incognita as it fits comfortably within the canon. So don't expect any surprises - just some great melodic progressive metal with an emphasis on the progressive side. Highly recommended.
  • Chicago based Oceanborn are a very interesting new progressive metal band.  They draw influences from a variety of styles.  You can hear Avenged Sevenfold, Muse, Katatonia, and Dream Theater in their musicial DNA.  Vocals are all clean and most definitely angst driven.  Entwined with the progressive elements is a melodic, almost pop quality that creeps into the fray only to be beaten down by crushing riffs.  Somewhat of a tough album to describe but something really cool going on here.  Highly recommended.
  • Phenomenal second album from these emerging stars of the prog metal scene.  Disperse are a very young band from Poland.  Their first album was released by Riverside's in-house ProgTeam label.  Living Mirrors finds them under the world wide microscope with their signing to Season Of Mist.Their second release finds them shifting directions a bit.  While Journey Through The Hidden Gardens teetered between prog rock and metal, Living Mirrors is full bore prog metal.  In fact there is a strong djent/tech element to their sound.  Sort of like Tesseract meets Dream Theater.  Vocalist Rafal Biernacki sings in a clean style through out.  Once again the real star of this band is guitarist Jakub Żytecki.  This dude can flat out play (actually they all can).  He invests a strong fusion element into the band's sound.  Its clear he's listened to an Allan Holdsworth album or three.  Keys don't really play a tremendous part in their sound - they are used more for atmospheric touches.  This is a total blitzkrieg of crushing riffs, fluid legato runs, and odd time signatures wrapped around some beautiful heart felt vocals.Watch out - these guys could become huge.  BUY OR DIE! 
  • Prospekt are a British Progressive Metal band influenced by bands such as Dream Theater, Symphony X, Opeth and Circus Maximus, as well as film scores and fusion. Prospekt combine the fierce technicality of progressive metal with the symphonic elements of contemporary prog.From brutal riffs coupled with odd time-signatures, to majestic melodies, the principle of Prospekt’s music is to create an intelligent and atmospheric mix of melodic, modern progressive metal. Incorporating passionate higher ranged vocals, frenetic guitar work, haunting orchestration and solid grooves, every composition remains both interesting and original.The Colourless Sunrise was mixed by  Adam "Nolly" Getgood of Periphery and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street.
  • So the best prog metal album I've heard in a long time comes from an exotic locale...Brooklyn!?!Years ago there used to be lots of bands like Infinite Spectrum lurking out there - half the fun of this business was finding them.  Blowtorch prog bands would come out of left field and really catch you off guard. Anyone remember Atmosfear, Gone, or Dividing Horizons?Infinite Spectrum are a prog metal quartet heavily influenced by Dream Theater, Queensryche, Symphony X, and definitely a variety of classic prog rock bands as well.  Misguided is a near 80 minute concept album.  Expect epic length tracks filled with symphonic keys, strings, and lots of serious shred.  Guitarist Alex Raykin displays chops from hell but the music is tempered with some nice acoustic based passages as well.  A notable standout is vocalist Will Severin.  He has a nice midrange presence that is inflected with just a trace of coarseness that actually reminds me a bit of Lou Gramm.  Bottom line - this is old school prog metal done up just the way we used to like it.  You a fan of Scenes From A Memory?,  Operation: Mindcrime?, The Damnation Game? need to check this album out.  Believe it or not this album is about a year old and just passed under the radar here.  I totally spooged over it and I can't wait to hear what the band has cooked up next.  BUY OR DIE! 
  • Red Sand is a long running neo-progressive rock band from Quebec. The band is led by guitarist Simon Caron. The band's stock in trade is music from the Marillion school with some nice dashes of old school Mellotron added to perk things up a bit. Vocalist Steff definitely has the Fish vibe down pat. Comes in a gatefold mini-lp style sleeve.
  • Formed in 2001, Suspyre’s brand of melodic metal can be attributed to the band members' wide range of influences. These talented, young musicians from New Jersey have discovered an energetic and gifted way of combining progressive rock and symphonic metal with classical and jazz fusion. October 24, 2005 marked the release of the band's first full-length album,The Silvery Image . Response to the album was so good that the band was signed to Nightmare Records and followed up with the release of their next album, A Great Divide, in March 2007. This effort was more diverse in every sense of the word: long, complicated passages are offset by simpler and shorter pieces; straightforward rhythms alongside super-imposing odd time meters; microtonal clusters and just intonation works around and between 12TET. Listeners will note a balance and interplay of heavy riffs, lush and delicate as well as dissonant/energetic orchestral parts, classic prog and a tasteful use of pastiche. The album hit the top 2007 prog metal album charts on websites such as USA Progressive Music,, and Beyond Ear Candy. To further their goal to develop and perfect their fusion of varied musical inspirations and influences, Suspyre has recorded a third album, When Time Fades… which will be released on Sensory Records on September 30, 2008. This album is a groovier piece of art with a bit more metallic crunch, and even more variety in the song styles, including an acoustic piece. No one can accuse this band of being formulaic in their composing. When Time Fades… has set the bar even higher than the band's previous albums, not only in music creation but also in the artwork done by Gustavo Sazes (Firewind, Dark Empire, Mystic Prophecy) , and featured guest artists that include drummer Charlie Zeleny (Behold the Arctopus, Blotted Science, Jordan Rudess), and female vocalist Trisha O'Keefe (Amaran's Plight).